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Puzzles and Challenges / Have a big turn
« on: January 16, 2016, 01:13:56 am »
Some new records now that we have the Adventures expansion.

  • During a single turn, embargo the curse pile 750 times.
  • Have 2500 buys at some moment in the action phase.
  • During a single turn, play 6000 actions.
  • [hard mode] do all above things in the same turn.
  • [Celestial Chameleon mode] Solve hard mode with each number in the items above multiplied by 1000. So embargo Curse 750k times, have 2.5 million buys and play 6 million actions in the same turn.

Remarks: Do this in a solo game. You can choose the kingdom and any number of events. You may take any number of turns as preparation, and you may assume perfect shuffle luck. Playing an action means resolving its when-play effects, so this is the relevant number for buying conspirators. For example, playing KC-KC-Bridge-Bridge-Bridge counts as playing 13 actions, and playing BoM-as-Bridge counts as playing 2 actions. Possession (and similar) turns count as separate turns.

Note: I require having the buys in the action phase, because in the buy phase you can get as much buys as you want. You can use Procession-Procession-Champion + Graverobber to get as much actions as you want, then play Diadem to get as much coins as you want, and then buy Travelling Fairs to get as much buys as you want.

Rules Questions / Processing BoM-as-Embargo
« on: December 08, 2015, 02:03:11 am »
Suppose I play Procession on a Band of Misfits, emulating Embargo.
I play BoM-as-Embargo, execute its actions, trash BoM-as-Embargo, and the BoM reverts to being a BoM. For the second time I play BoM, I can choose a different action.
So far, all I've said follows the Band of Misfits wiki page. But what happens next?

(1) Suppose I choose Hamlet as my second action. I execute all its actions as normal. But for how long will the BoM be a hamlet? Will it revert to being a BoM the moment I choose Hamlet (since it's not in play?)? Until I resolve its play action? Or will it stay a Hamlet much longer (since it hasn't left play yet)?

(2) Suppose I choose Rats as my second action. After doing all the Rats-stuff, Procession commands me to trash BoM, which is already in the trash. Does this trigger the on-trash effect of Rats? (Does "trashing a card which already is in the trash" count as trashing a card?)

(3) If I choose Fortress as my second action, does the BoM end up in my hand after finishing the Procession action? (This is a separate question, because it requires moving cards, and I'm not sure how the lose-track rule applies here. If any card has a good reason to lose track of itself, it's a Fortress finding itself in the trash.)

Dominion Articles / When cycling is not good
« on: May 17, 2014, 07:59:18 pm »
When cycling is not good

Cycling has two meanings:
- discard cards from your deck (like Cartographer and Spy);
- draw and discard cards from your hand (like Warehouse and Minion).
We've all been told that cycling is good. However, in this article I want to argue that cycling is definitely now always good, and sometimes very bad. I definitely don't want to argue that cellar and warehouse are bad: they provide "good cycling." However, people have been defending Advisor for "providing cycling" or alleviating mucking attacks (Spy, Fortune Teller, ...) since they provide cycling, and this is wrong. These cards provide "bad cycling," and this will hurt you, not help you.

So let's distinguish between three types of cycling, good cycling, neutral cycling and bad cycling (I'm not very good with making up original names).
- Good cycling is cycling when you discard bad cards. This typically happens when you choose which cards to discard or when a card is designed to automatically discard bad cards. Examples include Cartographer, Cellar, Warehouse, the non-attack part of Spy, Farming Village, Sage, Journeyman, Wandering Minstrel, Chancellor, ...
- Neutral cycling is cycling which discards average cards. This often happens when digging. Examples include: Rebuild, Loan, Harvest, Golem, the attack part of Minion, ...
- Bad cycling happens when you discard good cards. This typically (but not always) happens when you're attacked. Examples include: Fortune Teller, Advisor, Envoy, the attack part of Spy, ...

Most examples of cycling are "good cycling," which is why we say that cycling is good. However, this does not mean that the cycling provided in the other two categories are good. Let's discuss the three types in more detail.

Good cycling is good, because by discarding your bad cards you'll see your good cards more often, and your bad cards less often. This is why Farming Village is better than village, Cellar is better than Ruined Village and Sage is better than Pearl Diver. We knew this already, so I don't have much to add here.

Neutral cycling happens when you discard arbitrary cards from your deck. This won't help you at all (but it won't hurt you either). The simplest way to see this: suppose you have 17 cards in your deck + discard at some arbitrary point during the game, and you haven't done any cycling this shuffle (so that the cards in your deck are on average as good as the cards in your discard pile). Now suppose we execute the following effect:
Do this 17 times: discard the top card of your deck.
After you've done this, you have the same the same number of cards in your deck as you initially had. So this effect hasn't done anything (sure, the cards in your deck are different, but are as good on average). You won't see your good cards more often or your bad cards less often. This means that if you execute the effect "discard the top card of your deck" once, it will - on average - also neither hurt nor help you. This is also the case with the examples provided above (*).
I want to spend a few more words on Chancellor. Chancellor provides good cycling, because you have the choice to discard your deck: you can discard your deck when you've seen more good cards than expected and leave it on your deck when you've seen fewer. If chancellor forced you to always discard your deck, I'd put it under "Neutral cycling". However, even in that case it would still have a very little (usually negligible) positive effect, because you'll see the card you've just bought faster on average, and during the biggest part of the game you're buying good cards. Also, sometimes it can be good because you have cards which do something with your discard pile (like Hermit, Counting House, Inn, or indirectly Stash)

Bad cycling is bad in the same way that good cycling is good. When good cards are discarded from your deck, you'll see them less often, and hence the bad cards more often. Advisor can be described as "opponent discards good card from your deck + Lab." Clearly Advisor is worse than lab, and this disadvantage is NOT alleviated because Advisor cycles. Advisor is worse, BECAUSE it cycles - in a bad way. This is why opening Advisor is typically bad: you'll be less likely to see the other card you've bought on your second reshuffle. Similarly, when an opponent discards a good card from your deck with Scrying Pool you shouldn't think "well, at least I've cycled": what happened was bad because you cycled, again in a bad way.

As final remark: think of Scheme and the on-gain effect of Inn as anti-"bad cycling": you'll put good cards back on your deck. Clearly the effects of Scheme and Inn are good, hence the opposite effect, discarding good cards, are bad.


(*) Mathematically speaking, Rebuild provides good cycling and Golem provides bad cycling, although for all practical purposes these effects are negligible. To see this: suppose you play rebuild and you have exactly 1 victory card in your deck+discard. Then after playing rebuild, your deck is guaranteed to be without victory cards, hence your deck has better cards on average. The same holds with Golem if you have 2 action cards in deck+discard: after playing Golem your deck is guaranteed to not have action cards. However, these effects become much smaller when you have more victory/action cards in your deck+discard. If you have n victory cards in your deck, every victory card has 1/n chance to get discarded, while all non-victory cards have 1/(n+1) chance to get discarded.

Puzzles and Challenges / Empty the Supply in Two Turns
« on: May 15, 2014, 01:39:07 pm »
Well, since apparently it's cool to lower the number of turns to empty the supply, here's my challenge :-)

Challenge: Empty the supply in two turns. You may choose the number of players (up to 6). All players are working together, everyone has perfect shuffle luck, and you can choose the kingdom, ruins and the black market deck. Possession and Outpost turns both count towards the turn limit.

Not sure about the hard modes yet. 1000 VP should be doable. My solution is still work in progress :)

Other Games / Greed
« on: March 10, 2014, 04:34:05 pm »
I browsed on kickstarter, and I saw the game Greed:

It is a new game designed by Donald X. It looks interesting!

In a solitaire game, at the start of your turn, you have no cards in your duration area.

What is the maximum number of cards in your hand before you play your first card?

Hint: it's not 5.

Also, what's the minimum number of cards (assuming your deck consists of at least 10 cards)?

Puzzles and Challenges / Trash almost all cards
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:33:38 am »
There have been many puzzles already about putting a lot of cards in the trash,[1][2] and the general agreement is that it is not possible to put all cards in the trash.[3][4]

However, it is possible to put all but one card X in the trash. Question, what are all possible values for X?

Example: Province is possible, since you can put all cards except a single Province in the trash.

  • Only one card can be outside the trash. Note: only one copy of a card, not one pile. This card can be anywhere.
  • Other than that, all cards used must be trashed. If Black Market is used, all cards from the Black Market deck must be in the trash. Also all Mercenaries, Prizes, Spoils and Madmen must be trashed if they are used in the game.
  • All cards must be in the trash at the same time (which is probably the end of the game)
  • You may completely choose the number of players (although I can't find solutions with multiple players which do not work single-player), the kingdom, whether you play with Shelters and/or Colonies. If you want you can assume perfect shuffle luck
  • Just to emphasize: All rules must be obeyed, including the rule that the game ends after a turn when 3 piles are empty

Variants and Fan Cards / Pricing vanilla cards
« on: November 29, 2013, 01:23:48 am »
When writing this response I was wondering how much an action card giving +2 cards, +$1 (terminally) would cost. Why not make a thread discussing the cost of vanilla cards like this? I think some cards would lead to an interesting discussion, and can be useful when considering the price of fan-made cards. Some cards cannot be properly priced, but for this thread "strong at $4, weak at $5" is good enough.

Disclaimer: I do not suggest these cards as fan cards. By being vanilla, they will all be boring. This is just an exercise to attach a price to cards. For example, consider the following card:

+3 cards
You may discard 6 cards. If you do: +1 card.

This would be a terrible card, because (1) it will almost play exactly the same as Smithy and (2) it's strictly better than Smithy. Still, I think no-one would argue that if you want to price this card, it would cost 4. That's what this thread it all about.

Also, I want to only consider reasonable cards within the price range 2~7 (or maybe 8 ). It's not so interesting whether an action giving "+7 Cards" should cost $12 or $15 or whether an action giving "+2 Actions" (Necropolis) should cost 1 or 0 when it is the supply.

Ok, with that out of the way, let's start.

Single vanilla bonus

(Action) +$2
Cost: (weak at) 2.
I think the topdeck inspection for every player doesn't make Duchess better or worse.

(Action) +$3
Cost: (weak) 5.
Compares pretty unfavorably to Harvest, which is weak at $5. I think this would be too strong at $4, though.

(Action) +$4
Cost: 7 or 6.
I'm wondering whether this is too strong at $6. It sounds too strong compared to gold, but on second thought, I think it wouldn't break much. Big money with this card at 6 wouldn't be so strong, I think. And for engines I also don't think it's too strong.

(Action) +$5
Cost: 8
I don't see any other price for it.

(Action) +2 Cards
Cost: (weak at) 2.
Strictly weaker than Moat, but not too bad.

(Action) +4 Cards
Cost: 6.
Almost Hunting Grounds.

(Action) +3 Actions
Cost: 2.
I think this would be reasonable at $2. Weak, but sometimes worth it.

(adding more actions would be pretty pointless, and a card which only gives "+n Buys" is very weak, so I don't consider them)


(Action) +2 Cards +$1
Cost: 4.
I'm interested whether people think this is stronger or weaker than Smithy. I think it's a hard question, but currently I go for slightly weaker but only very slightly.

(Action) +1 Card +$2
Cost: 4.
I can't decide whether this is stronger or weaker than Smithy (or different terminal silvers at $4)

(Action) +3 Cards +$1
Cost: 6.
I think this is weaker than Hunting Grounds (on the other hand, with HG you can easily overdraw your deck, while here those "extra cards" are converted to Copper). Could this cost 5? I think not.

(Action) +2 Cards +$2
Cost: 6?

(Action) +1 Card +$3
Cost: 6? 7?

(Action) +2 Cards +1 Buy
Cost: 2 (3?)

(Action) +1 Card +1 Buy +$1
Cost: 2.
I think this would be perfectly priced at 2.

(Action) +3 Cards +1 Buy
Cost: between 4 and 5
Compare with Smithy and Margrave

(Action) +2 Cards +1 Buy +$1
Cost: (strong) 4

(Action) +1 Cards +1 Buy +$2
Cost: 4? strong 4?

(Action) +1 Buy +$3
Cost: 5.
I think this would be an okay $5.

(Action) +4 Cards +1 Buy
Cost: 7.
Can this cost 6? I think not, adding a buy to Hunting Grounds is pretty big.

(Action) +1 Buy +$4
Cost: 7.

Nonterminal Non-cantrip (including villages)

+1 Action +$n is very similar to the basic Treasures, and should cost the same (sometimes it is an advantage and sometimes it hurts when it is an action).

(Action) +1 Action +1 Buy +$1
Cost: 2.
Strictly weaker than Candlestick Maker, but still decent.

(Action) +1 Action +1 Buy +$2
Cost: 4.

(Action) +1 Action +1 Buy +$3
Cost: 7.

(Action) +2 Actions +$2
Cost: 4.
Hard one. A Fishing Village which does not give an action next turn, but gives the second coin immediately. I think Fishing Village is generally better, but you would never buy Silver over this (maybe except when Terminal Draw big money is the only thing on this board) (you also hardly buy Silver over Fishing Village, but that does happen sometimes), so it cannot reasonably cost 3 (and as Donald has argues, cards strictly better than Silver also shouldn't cost 4, but let's ignore that for the moment). This also compares too favorably to (vanilla) Village when priced at $3.

(Action) +2 Actions +1 Buy +$2
Cost: 4.
Is it strong at 4? It is definitely weak at 5.

Almost all vanilla villages have been printed, the only semi-interesting one left is the following:

(Action) +1 Card +2 Actions +1 Buy +$1
Cost: 6.
Bazaar + Buy or Market + Action, both comparisons make $6 a good price.


(Action) +1 Card +1 Action +$1
Cost: 4.
I think Peddler is almost universally regarded as worth 4.

(Action) +1 Card +1 Action +$2
Cost: 7.

(Action) +1 Card +1 Action +1 Buy
Cost: between 2 and 3.
I think this would be a little too useful for a $2-card, but it compares really unfavorable to Market Square at 3. I do not buy Market Square often without the possibility of the reaction triggering.

(Action) +2 Cards +1 Action +1 Buy
Cost: 6.
Lab + Buy is a reasonable 6, I think.

Almost vanilla

(Treasure) +1 Buy. Worth 2.
Cost: 4.
Although Silver+ cannot cost 4, I think this would be the only reasonable price. Or can this be defended at 5?

(Treasure) +1 Buy. Worth 3.
Cost: 7.

(Action) + 2 Cards +1 Action. Discard 2 cards.
Cost: 2.

(Action) + 2 Cards +1 Action. Discard a card.
Cost: 4.
Too strong at 3, I think?

(Action) + 3 Cards +1 Action. Discard 2 cards.
Cost: 5.
Too strong at 4, I think?

(Action) + 3 Cards +1 Action. Discard a card.
Cost: 8.
Can this be justified at 7?

Do any of the above cards change when you first discard and then draw?

Okay, that's it. If you think I missed something which fits here, feel free to suggest it. This post is meant to encourage discussion about these prices (the very long list of cards might have a deterrent effect, sorry for that). Let me conclude with a fun fact I discovered: There is no official kingdom card which is terminal and always draws 1 card (in addition to other effects). Apparently "+1 Card" is not a good vanilla bonus.

Goko Dominion Online / Goko update
« on: July 04, 2013, 06:49:40 am »
In this topic I'll try to post the updates which Goko posts on getsatisfaction. In future, I might stop checking getsatisfaction. You can find the updates posted there HERE

copy-pasted from here:

System Update 7/3/13

Tonight's update was:

* Fixed bug: Horse Traders didn't highlight as playable after returning from being set aside.
* Fixed bug: Mandarin was showing the card put back by the opponent and noting it in the game log.
* Fixed bug: There were 4 games in the Cornucopia adventures which could on rare occasions generate a Silver bane.
* Fixed bug: Reworked some games in the Hinterlands Act 3 adventure that had required cards from other sets to be purchased.
* AI improvements: Journeyman, Warehouse, Vault, Count, Horse Traders, Hamlet, Guilds trashers, and especially Secret Chamber
* Moved Continue button on results screen so you don't have to have chat closed to use it

Puzzles and Challenges / Governor plays to empty deck
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:21:50 am »
In the Easy puzzles thread there was a question how much Governor plays are needed to empty someones deck. Simon claimed to have a solution with 13 plays, which turned out to not work, but I think I found the minimum number of plays needed (and I doubt it can be done with less). But I think it's not an easy puzzle, so I make a new thread for it.

So the full puzzle is as follows:

Find the least number of Governor plays needed such that for any given kingdom (with Governor in it) that number of Governor plays is enough to get one player down to 0 cards in his whole deck.

Additional rules:
  • You must find a solution for any kingdom, which may or may not include Young Witch, Colony/Plat, Shelters and Black Market. In particular you may not assume there are other cards around, like any other trasher.
  • You can choose the number of players (between 1 and 6 (inclusive)).
  • The whole deck means any cards in someones deck, discard, hand, play area, reveal area, any set-aside area, any mat, etc.
  • A Governor played via Golem or Herald still counts, a Governor played with Throne Room or Procession counts twice, and played with KC count thrice.
  • All players work together to achieve this goal, and you may assume perfect shuffle luck.

Puzzles and Challenges / Edge cases of rules questions
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:36:25 pm »
In an attempt to get the Rules Questions forum edge case free let's start a topic where we can, are allowed and even encouraged to post these edge cases. So here it is! If an answer to a rules question is generally true, but has some edge cases you want to point out, then post the edge case here instead of the corresponding topic.

And yes, this belong to puzzles, because the challenge is to find the most/most obscure/least obscure edge cases to rules answers which are generally right.

Innovation General Discussion / innovation cards?
« on: March 16, 2013, 09:39:36 pm »
As many others, I started playing innovation today, and I have one question. Is there a list of all (basic) innovation cards, including the dogma effects (and maybe also icons)? That would be really useful to understand memes, read tutorials, or when any other card is mentioned.

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